Deconstructed watch: Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph
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Reviewed through the lens of time, watches that might have been regarded as brash when they were launched a decade or two ago can now seem decidedly conservative. The early products of Roger Dubuis can be a case in point.
When the founder of the eponymous brand was still in charge, his creations such as the cruciform-shaped Follow Me and the rectangular, self-explanatory Too Much were considered by many to be a decidedly acquired taste.
But compared with the current line-up, such pieces appear positively staid — because, since becoming wholly-owned by luxury goods giant Richemont in 2016, Roger Dubuis has majored on producing highly complex, fully skeletonised and heavily-styled watches, often in small editions.
The latest is the Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph shown here in its deconstructed form.
Unveiled at July’s Goodwood Festival of Speed (of which Roger Dubuis is the official timing partner) the supercar-inspired watch contains the maker’s first chronograph movement to incorporate the ‘flyback’ function that enables it to be stopped, reset and restarted with a single push of a button.
Comprising 333 mechanical components and no fewer than 39 ruby bearings, RD780 calibre has two pending patents, the first being for its 120-degree Rotating Minute Counter (at the three o’clock position) which is based on system debuted earlier this year on the brand’s Monovortex concept watch.
The other patent application relates to the chronograph’s vertical clutch system which incorporates a special braking device designed to improve the stability of the chronograph hand and reduce ‘flutter’ when it is activated or stopped.
Other notable features of the movement include a tilted balance wheel to improve shock resistance, a diamond-coated, silicon escape wheel and silicon pallet stones for enhanced anti-magnetism and a sufficiently high level of hand decoration to merit coveted Geneva Seal certification.
The 45mm case, meanwhile, is forged from ultralight carbon and fitted with skeletonised chronograph pushers and a scratchproof ceramic bezel, while the transparent back gives a view on to the five-armed, road wheel inspired winding rotor.
And the finishing touch, and quick-change rubber strap, has a distinctive pattern on the inside that ‘recalls screeching tyre marks’.
Available only from Roger Dubuis boutiques, the Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph costs £87,000. Which might also provoke a few squeals.
Excalibur Spider Flyback Chronograph, £87,000.